Marna Winter, Allison Bryan co-author article on the power of names

Winter and Bryan co-authored an article, "The Power of a Name," recently published in the Fringes Journal, that shares how to build community with students and families in today's K-12 classrooms.

Everyone is given a unique name at birth which connects us to who we are, our identity, our culture, and our traditions. By sharing our names and the stories behind them, we can celebrate who our students are on a personal level.

Marna Winter, senior lecturer in education and chair of the department of education and wellness, and Allison Bryan, director of the Curriculum Resources Center and associate librarian, co-authored an article, “The Power of a Name,” recently published in the Fringes Journal.

Their article shares how an assignment, “The Power of A Name,” was used in a college classroom with teacher candidates to build community on the first day of school while engaging them in an in-depth examination of their names. Their article also provides strategies for implementing this in today’s K-12 classrooms to build community with students and their families. To read the full article, visit the North Carolina English Teachers’ Association.

Winter teaches a variety of elementary education courses in the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education including, literacy development, Methods and Materials for teaching English Language Arts and Social Studies, and a variety of others. She has two decades of experience teaching in public schools, early childhood classrooms, and higher education. She conducts research on the interests and motivation of readers, strategies to engage students in reading, and strategies to build classroom community.

Before Bryan was the director of the Curriculum Resources Center (CRC) in the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education, she worked as a public school educator and librarian for seventeen years. During her time at Elon, she has focused on diversifying the CRC collection and teaches courses in instructional technology and book banning. Her research interests include representation in children’s literature and self-censorship in classrooms.


Fringes, the NCETA Journal, is a space for current and pre-service English Language Arts (ELA) teachers, as well as ELA teacher educators, to share ideas for teaching primary and secondary ELA. Specifically, Fringes is a peer-reviewed journal published twice annually and features articles that address innovative classroom practices, important and timely educational issues, pedagogical methods, classroom activities, and curricular materials. We welcome a combination of both practice-oriented and research pieces, grounded in the various interests, assets, and contexts experienced by North Carolina teachers. In particular, we want to hear about the practices and research that educators are doing that are unconventional and peripheral, or what we call fringe.